1997, July / The Geraldine Fibbers
I was fortunate enough to discover this album last year, and not too long after the Geraldine Fibbers became my favorite band. Whereas the Fibber's sound could be described before this album with enough hyphens (country-punk-pop, etc. . .) no amount of ineffective descriptions do their sound on this album justice.
With virtuoso guitarist Nels Cline now in the mix, the Fibbers decided to expand their already unique sound, particularly lead singer Carla Bozulich and Cline's taste in avant-garde sonic youth style noise. The first song, California Tuffy, is catchy poppy song that even hints at surf guitar, which is followed by two songs that are more punk than anything else, but not like any punk you've ever heard before.
The country influence is scaled back somewhat from their previous album, with the exception of two songs in the middle of the cd that are as country as any George Jones cover the Fibbers ever recorded. Jessy Greene's violin has never been more terrifying or beautiful than on the completely undefinable "Arrow Through My Drunken Heart", while Bozulich alludes to child abuse, a theme that occurs more than once. If you manage to survive that song without breaking down crying, the Fibbers reward you with more upbeat old-fashioned love song called "You Doo Right," a cover of the proto-punk band Can.
Butch is easily the most diverse and versatile album of the year, but some of the focus and flow of Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home was sacrificed to achieve it. An album that truly fits all moods, if not all people.
By Andrew J. Paciocco